Jesus Still on Trial
Lord, You are the Reliable One. People, institutions, governments all fail but You are the same yesterday, today and forever.
Read LUKE 22:63-23:12
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses … to the ends of the world” (Acts 1:8, The Message).
After his arrest Jesus was subjected to three trials. First, there was the trial before the full Sanhedrin (“the council”) under the presidency of Caiaphas, the high priest (22:66-71). This hearing, begun immediately after Jesus’ arrest (22:54-65), was formally concluded early the following morning. Next, and almost immediately came the trial before Pilate, the Roman governor (23:1-7). This was followed by a hearing before Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great and tetrarch of Galilee and Perea.
Before the Sanhedrin, Jesus was accused and convicted of committing blasphemy by claiming to be the Son of God (22:70,71). However, only the Roman authorities could pass the capital sentence, so Jesus was brought before Pilate. Cleverly, but unfairly, the prosecution twists the religious charge into a three-fold political accusation which Pilate dare not ignore (23:2): (1) agitating sedition; (2) advocating non-payment of imperial taxes; and (3) claiming to be king. Pilate dismisses these charges and declares Jesus to be innocent on all three counts (23:4,14,22). Conscious of his rather dubious reputation with Tiberius the emperor, he is reluctant to release Jesus and give the Jewish authorities an excuse to make a formal complaint to Rome; so, he refers the case to Herod (23:7).
During the Jerusalem trials the disciples fled. True, John and Peter hung around, but John remained silent and Peter denied he knew Jesus. It’s different now: Jesus has a defense team. The leader is the Holy Spirit, the Advocate (John 15:26), powerfully convincing the jury that right is on Jesus’ side. This Advocate calls on us to testify on his behalf, too. If we ignore his call, can we wonder that a majority remain unconvinced?
If you were put on trial as a Christian, would the court find enough evidence to convict you? What evidence would you give?
Holy Spirit of God, I am so grateful that You can use my words of witness, as stumbling as they might be. Take them and use them for Your glory.